Way too many women across the world feel like a single parent despite being married and living with their husbands.
Editor's note: This article was originally published on August 30, 2021. It has since been updated.
A woman left feeling like a single parent despite being married and living with her husband is, sadly, a tale as old as time. Way too many women across the world are too familiar with this scenario and utterly frustrated because of it. "What’s most remarkable about the mom job, however, is, ironically, not the enormity of it," Nancy Colier, a psychotherapist and mindfulness teacher, wrote for Psychology Today. "What's most remarkable is the fact that (from my research) most moms feel unappreciated. Moms from all walks of life describe feeling unacknowledged and unseen for what they do and are for their families."
"Being a mom these days (and maybe always) seems to be a job that's taken for granted, thankless for the most part. It also appears to be unique in that it comes with the expectation that appreciation is not and should not be needed or wanted by the one doing the job. And, in fact, to want or need appreciation as a mom would be self-serving, inappropriate, and even shameful," she added. This is precisely what happened with Redditor u/71910sj101 who sought netizens' opinions in a r/AmItheAsshole post about whether she was an a**hole "for 'taking vacation' and leaving [her] husband with every single house duty there is for 4 days?"
"My husband and I have been together for 8 years, recently married (15 months ago). We have a 4-year-old son. For the past 3 years, I have worked from home (such a godsend), 12-hour shifts 4 days a week. It's a struggle because my husband gets home from work at 1 am and takes 2 to 3 hours to unwind so he doesn't get to bed until maybe 3 or 4 am and sleeps basically all day until he has to leave for work," she explained in the post. "On his days off he spends that with me and our son, obviously, but I have noticed that as time goes on, he does less and less around the house."
The Reddit user went on to explain that her husband wasn't always so lazy, inattentive, or unbothered when it came to sharing chores and childcare duties. "Before this, he would make dinner on his days off, take care of ALL of son's needs and do basic cleaning so that I could have a breather. Now he doesn't make dinner at all, falls asleep on the couch by 7 so I have son duty 24/7, and hasn't lifted a finger to clean in weeks. So on my 3 days off a week, I end up having to deep clean my entire house because I don't have time to do anything on my workdays aside from the bare minimum," she wrote.
It finally reached a point where the frustrated mom informed her husband that she needed him to pull his weight around the house. "He happily obliged for all of 30 minutes before taking off to go help a buddy with his car and didn't do jack squat after returning home because he 'was tired,'" she revealed. "I needed a break. I told him this. His way of comforting me was by hugging me and saying 'You're doing such a good job.' Didn't offer to help or anything. So, I made a plan."
Hoping to jolt her husband into reality and make him realize she is drowning under household and childcare duties — duties they should share equally — the Reddit user came up with a plan. "Asked my mom to take my son for 4 days and planned a vacation for myself with work. I dropped my son off yesterday with my mom (I only did this because my husband obviously works) and took off to our cabin 58 miles away to relax," she explained. "My husband started texting me last night asking where I was. I told him [about] the cabin. He asked where our son was so I told him. He then started going off about how this is selfish of me and that if he had realized I wasn't merely stressed out that he would have helped out more."
"Used the argument that he too is stressed out and tired. He claims my communication on the issue was terrible and that I could have been more open and laid it out. Says that I'm an [a**hole] for taking a vacation without him because he 'could have used it too.' But the thing is, I straight out told him I needed a break. I asked him for help. He disregarded it all. But now I'm curious if I'm an [a**hole]," she concluded. An overwhelming majority of Reddit users agreed that she had nothing to feel bad about since her husband was clearly at fault. "[Not the a**hole.] I'm so sick and tired of people saying [the original poster] sucks too for not communicating, but who tells her what needs to be done around the house or how to take care of a child," asked u/ToTwoTooToo.
"Does husband not have eyes? Can he not see what needs to be cleaned, tidied, or cooked? Does he not know his child's needs? If he didn't before, maybe his 'four-day vacation' without a child to care for or a wife to clean up after him opened his eyes," they added. "It's so telling that he wants to blame his decision not to contribute on you by saying you didn't communicate. He knows he needs to throw in equally, he knows he wasn't doing it, and he knows that you told him. He's upset at facing the consequences of his own actions and he should be apologizing to you," pointed out u/Doris_Useless.